County Fermanagh Grand Orange Lodge held their Annual Memorial Parade Service in Enniskillen on Sunday, June 4 to remember 31 members of Fermanagh Orange Lodges murdered in Fermanagh during the Troubles .

The County Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Mervyn Byers, welcomed the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland, Most Worshipful Brother Edward Stevenson, and the Chief Executive Officer, Worshipful Brother Iain Carlisle.

Prior to the main parade the County Officers and invited guests laid a wreath at the Memorial Plaque to the Murdered Brethren at Enniskillen District Orange Hall, after which they paraded to join the main parade at Hollyhill car park, led by Monaghan Fife and Drum Band.

The parade consisting of approximately 800 junior members, Orange women and Orange men, followed on after the three bands, Derryclavin Pipe Band, Church Hill Silver Band and Monaghan Fife and Drum band.

The parade paused briefly in Belmore Street at the Cenotaph while the County Grand Master laid a wreath on behalf of all the Orange family.

The parade moved off again making it’s way through the town centre to Saint Macartin’s Cathedral for the Memorial Service which was led by the Very Rev. Dean Kenneth Hall.

The service was attended by family members of the murdered Brethren, Wor. Bro. Tom Elliott MLA, Deborah Erskine MLA and members of the RUC GC and UDR CGC.

During the service the County Grand Master led a short Act of Remembrance, naming the 31 Orangemen before the Last Post and Reveille were sounded by bugler Andrew Gordon having observed a period of silence. Gordon McKeown, a piper from Derryclavin concluded the Act of Remembrance by playing a Piper’s Lament.

The guest preacher for this occasion was The Right Rev. Ian Ellis, Bishop of Clogher, who gave an address on the suffering of the families of these victims, mostly mothers, wives and children, and how their lives have changed from that moment in time when their loved one was so brutally killed.

A collection was lifted during the service which will be donated to the RUC GC and UDR CGC benevolent funds.

The first Memorial Parade took place in 2009, and it was at this parade, and drumhead service, the Memorial Bannerette was unfurled.

The Bannerette, bearing 31 names, is carried in their honour at the head of each Twelfth of July demonstration, and all official County Grand Lodge parades since. In total, The Orange Institution lost 339 members during the Troubles, 31 in County Fermanagh, which equates to almost 10 per cent of that total. Of that 31, only two convictions ensued.